First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates the National Design Awards with White House Ceremony and Luncheon

Release Date: 
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates the National Design Awards with White House Ceremony and Luncheon
Teen Design Fair to Be Held for Local Students

The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum today announced First Lady Michelle Obama will celebrate the 2010 National Design Awards Wednesday, July 21, with a White House ceremony for the winners and finalists of the awards. In support of the First Lady’s emphasis on arts education, prior to the luncheon, the award winners will participate in an education program for high school students in Washington, D.C. First Lady Michelle Obama serves as the honorary patron for this year’s National Design Awards.

Launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the annual National Design Awards celebrate design in various disciplines as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world. The awards are accompanied each year by a variety of public education programs, including special events, panel discussions and workshops.

“Cooper-Hewitt is honored to once again receive the patronage of First Lady Michelle Obama for the National Design Awards program,” said Director Bill Moggridge. “The National Design Awards were established to promote excellence and innovation in design, and Mrs. Obama’s support will advance awareness of design’s important role on an even greater scale.”

Several of the National Design Award winners and finalists will also take part in a Teen Design Fair in Washington, D.C., July 21, which serves to introduce high school students to careers in design. The students will meet one-on-one with leading designers in the fields of fashion, industrial design, architecture, multimedia and graphic design. A keynote address will be given by Tim Gunn, CEO at Liz Claiborne Inc. and co-host of Lifetime’s Project Runway. The Teen Design Fair will be held from 8:30 to 11 a.m., July 21, at the Grand Salon of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery. Students can learn more about attending the program and register online at

The awards recognize extraordinary contributions to design in 10 categories: Lifetime Achievement, Design Mind, Corporate and Institutional Achievement, Architecture Design, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Interaction Design, Interior Design, Landscape Design and Product Design. The award recipients also will be honored at a gala dinner Oct. 14 at Cipriani in New York.

The 2010 National Design Awards recipients are:
• Lifetime Achievement: Jane Thompson
• Design Mind: Ralph Caplan
• Corporate and Institutional Achievement: U.S. Green Building Council
Finalists: Design that Matters and OXO
• Architecture Design: KieranTimberlake
Finalists: Lake|Flato Architects and Design Corps
• Communication Design: Stephen Doyle
Finalists: John Jay and Maira Kalman
• Fashion Design: Rodarte
Finalists: Behnaz Sarafpour and Proenza Schouler
• Interaction Design: Lisa Strausfeld
Finalists: Potion and Local Projects
• Interior Design: William Sofield
Finalists: Clive Wilkinson Architects and Aidlin Darling Design
• Landscape Design: James Corner Field Operations
Finalists: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture and Stoss Landscape Urbanism
• Product Design: Smart Design
Finalists: Continuum and Frog Design

The 2010 jury was composed of a diverse group of designers and educators from around the nation, including Ayse Birsel, co-founder and creative director, Birsel + Seck; Linda Boff, global director, marketing communications, GE; Mark Breitenberg, provost, California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Oakland; president, International Council of Societies of Industrial Design; Karin Fong, founding partner, Imaginary Forces; Peter Hudson, vice president of footwear design, Nike Inc.; Jenna Lyons, creative director, J.Crew; Sergio Palleroni, professor and fellow, Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices, Portland State University, and founding director, BASIC Initiative; Lauren Rottet, founding principal, Rottet Studio; and Frederick Steiner, dean of the School of Architecture and Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin.

The National Design Awards are made possible in part by Bloomberg and Procter & Gamble.
Media sponsorship provided by Fast Company and New York magazine.
National Design Week is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of Target.

National Design Week
National Design Week aims to promote a better understanding of the role that design plays in all aspects of daily life. The museum will offer free admission to all visitors and provide a range of online resources celebrating design throughout National Design Week, which will take place Oct. 9-17. In addition to hosting a second Teen Design Fair in New York, the program will reach school teachers and their students nationally, in the classroom and online through Cooper-Hewitt’s Educator Resource Center ( The site features more than 300 lesson plans aligned to national and state standards that demonstrate how the design process can enhance the teaching of all subjects and features discussion boards that provide a forum for educators to exchange ideas. The museum’s website also features the year-round “Design Across America” clickable map listing design-oriented events throughout the country.

About Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational programs, exhibitions and publications. Founded in 1897 by Amy, Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt—granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper—as part of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the museum has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1967.
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